ORLANDO, Fla. - Thousands of snowbirds travel to Florida every year to live in Florida during the winter. However, because of COVID-19, some will not be this year.
For those north of America, the main issue for these snowbirds is the U.S.- Canadian border, which remains closed and has been for the last six months. That could cause an enormous economic hit in Florida.
According to a survey published by the Canadian government in 2018, Canadians spend about 6.5 billion in Florida every year.
Despite the ban at the border, it is still possible for Canadians to fly to Florida. However, most snowbirds drive their personal vehicles to Florida and stay for several months. That is not allowed right now.
However, there are American snowbirds that could still come to Florida. Evelyn Berry from upstate New York is looking forward to coming to Winter Garden in October. This was not an easy decision for her because of the pandemic though.
Her biggest concern was travel safety. She has decided she will fly and take precautions, telling FOX 35 that "When I left in May, we were practicing social distancing and I wasn't going to the store very often and all that. So, when I go back, I figure I can do that process all over again. And be mindful of where I go and what I do, which means I'll stay home more and I won't be traveling around the state."
Travel experts say that many snowbirds that usually take refuge at Florida's warm beaches are mulling over what they will do this winter. It is affecting the seasonal rent market and the season should be slower.
Travel agent John Morrison said that things will stabilize when infection rates go down.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.